Editorial Article13 September 2010
European Travelers: Hitting the Hot Spots… or Not?
The essence of travel planning involves consumers deciding where to go, what to do, and where to stay on their holiday. Faced with these fundamental choices, many travelers prefer to build their trips around well-established destinations, accommodations, and attractions. Others like to go off the beaten path, and tend to avoid the most popular and better known options. According to PhoCusWright's European Consumer Travel Report, the preference for traveling on or off the beaten path is highly subjective, and varies considerably from residents of one country to the next.
In France, 64% of travelers prefer to go off the beaten path, compared to 48% of German travelers, and just 41% of U.K. travelers. French travelers' clear preference for avoiding well-trodden destinations, accommodations, and activities has implications for travel companies, who may be more successful offering intimate, unique, and uncrowded travel experiences. Similarly, chains and large hotels would do well to showcase the individuality of their properties to French travelers, rather than elements that flaunt their size and scale. In contrast, qualities like consistency and popularity may appeal more to U.K. travelers, who often appreciate the wisdom of the crowd
The preference for staying on or off the beaten path is just one of the many variables that distinguish one type of traveler from another. PhoCusWright's European Consumer Travel Report analyzes three European travel markets—France, Germany, and the U.K.—and highlights key similarities and differences in traveler attitudes and behavior. With detailed information on travel planning behavior, sources of influence, shopping and booking, the report helps travel companies better understand their target audience, so they can offer the most appropriate products and services.